10/06/13 — Operation Christmas Child starts campaign

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Operation Christmas Child starts campaign

By From staff reports
Published in News on October 6, 2013 1:50 AM

As the holidays approach, officials with Operation Christmas Child are reminding local residents to begin preparing shoeboxes of gifts and other items for needy children around the world.

The program is sponsored by Samaritan's Purse, which distributed the boxes to more than 100 countries last year.

Boxes will be collected for shipment Nov. 18-24. Adamsville Baptist Church at 1302 N. Berkeley Blvd. will once again serve as a collection center. Mount Olive First Baptist Church in Mount Olive, Pinkney Baptist Church on N.C. 581 near Fremont, Unity Grove Presbyterian Church in Newton Grove, Spilman Memorial Baptist Church in Kinston and Sandy Bottom Baptist Church on N.C. 55 west of Kinston will serve as relay centers.

Collection times and dates will be published in the weeks to come, but people interested in helping are asked to begin preparing the boxes for shipment now.

Boxes should be put together based on a child's age and sex. The categories are ages 2-4, ages 5-9, or ages 10-14. Gift suggestions include toys such as dolls, trucks, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, balls or toys that light up or make noise (with batteries included). School supplies such as pens, pencils, crayons, stamps and ink pad sets, writing pads or paper, solar calculators and picture books are recommended. Other suggestions could be personal hygiene items such as toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, combs and washcloths. Other ideas include T-shirts, socks, ball caps, sunglasses, hair clips, toy jewelry and flashlight (also with batteries).

Do not include used or damaged items, war-related items such as toy guns or knives or military figures, chocolate or food, out-of-date candy, liquids or lotions, medications or vitamins, aerosol cans, or breakable items such as snowglobes or glass containers.

People are encouraged to include a personal note, or even a photograph of your family, in the box.

A donation of $7 per box is urged to cover shipment costs. A rubber band should be placed around the box to keep if from opening.

For more information, visit www.samaritans purse.org.